The Government has announced that it is introducing further COVID-19 restrictions for England broadly in line with the ‘Plan B’ announced in the Autumn/Winter Plan on 15 September. Under the new restrictions:
- From Monday 13 December office workers will be asked to work from home where possible;
- Face coverings will become mandatory in most indoor public venues from Friday 10 December. Settings which are exempt from wearing a face covering include:
- Restaurants, cafés and canteens
- Bars and shisha bars
- Gyms & exercise facilities
- Photography studios
- Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques;
- The Government will introduce mandatory COVID certification in certain venues from Wednesday 15 December (broadly as outlined here but the COVID Pass will continue to cover testing as well as vaccination and natural immunity). The use of the NHS COVID Pass is required as a condition of entry into the following places:
- nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques;
- other late night dance venues that are open between 1am and 5am, serve alcohol during this time, have a dancefloor (or designated space for dancing), and provide music, whether live or recorded, for dancing;
- indoor events with 500 or more unseated attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as music venues with standing audiences or large receptions;
- outdoor events with 4,000 or more unseated attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as outdoor festivals; and
- any events with 10,000 or more attendees indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events.
- The COVID-Pass will remain available to people who have had two doses of the vaccine for the time being but this may be reviewed in future.
The Government has announced its intention to replace self-isolation with daily testing for some contacts of people who have tested positive COVID-19. Further details will be set out shortly. Until then, current rules continue to apply and individuals must self-isolate if instructed to do so by NHS Test and Trace.